BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Vladimir Guerrero Jr. scored the winning run on Joe Panik‘s sacrifice fly, capping a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning that gave the Toronto Blue Jays a 6-5 victory over the skidding Miami Marlins on Wednesday night.
Bo Bichette tied it with a two-run triple in the ninth, and Randal Grichuk hit two solo homers to help Toronto improve to 2-0 this season in its temporary Buffalo home.
Panik lofted a one-out fly in a steady rain against reliever Yimi García (3-4) and reached safely when center fielder Starling Marte dropped the ball for an error.
With the Blue Jays trailing 5-3, Reese McGuire and Marcus Semien started the ninth with singles and Bichette drove in both with a triple to right field. Guerrero and Teoscar Hernández were walked intentionally to load the bases before Grichuk hit into a force play, setting the stage for Panik.
Anthony Castro (1-1) pitched a hitless ninth.
Corey Dickerson, Jazz Chisholm Jr., Jesús Aguilar and Marte homered for Miami, which has lost five straight. Marlins starter Pablo López tied his career high with nine strikeouts over four innings.
Toronto rookie right-hander Alek Manoah, a native of Homestead, Florida, ran into trouble against his hometown team and allowed three home runs in the first three innings and left with the bases loaded in the fourth. Manoah tossed six shutout innings in his major league debut last Thursday at Yankee Stadium. Against Miami, the 23-year-old allowed four hits and three walks and struck out five.
López, who also had nine strikeouts on April 18 against San Francisco, fanned seven of eight batters at one point, with Grichuk’s second homer of the night interrupting the impressive streak.
Dickerson opened the scoring with a one-out solo shot in the second inning, his second of the season. Chisholm struck with a two-run drive in the third, his sixth, to put Miami up 3-1, before Aguilar went deep one out later for his 10th of the campaign.
After Manoah walked two batters and hit another with a pitch with one out in the fourth, he was replaced by Joel Payamps, who fanned Chisholm and got Marte to ground out.
Grichuk hit his 11th homer leading off the fourth inning against López to make it 4-2. It was Grichuk’s 10th career multi-homer game.
Marte hit his third homer in the seventh, providing Miami with its first four-homer game since the finale of a Sept. 18, 2020, doubleheader against Washington.
Guerrero, the American League batting leader, tripled in his first at-bat, but went 1 for 4 to drop his average to .335. In the seventh inning, with two on and Toronto trailing 5-2, he roped a sharp line drive to right field, only to have it caught by Adam Duvall. Hernández then reached on Chisholm’s error at shortstop, enabling Semien to score from second.
The Blue Jays are unable to play in Toronto for a second straight season because of Canadian health restrictions due to COVID-19.
Semien was selected AL player of the month after batting .368 with eight homers and 22 RBIs. His 1.130 OPS was the fourth-highest in the league, and he led the majors in hits (42), extra-base hits (21) and total bases (80) for the month.
“What a great month,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. “I had a front-row seat, watching the guy play every day, getting big hits, and playing good baseball. He deserves it, big-time.”
Semien became the first Blue Jays player to win a player of the month award since Edwin Encarnacion in August 2015.
Marlins: RHP Elieser Hernandez (right biceps), eligible to come off the injured list Thursday, will be activated at some point during the upcoming weekend series in Pittsburgh. “There is a plan in place, but we’re not going to tip our hat just yet,” manager Don Mattingly said.
Blue Jays: RHP A.J. Cole (neck tightness) was placed on the 10-day IL, retroactive to May 30, and replaced on the roster by RHP Jeremy Beasley.
The Marlins travel to Pittsburgh for a four-game series against the Pirates. The starter for Thursday’s opener had not been announced.
Toronto will enjoy an off day before hosting Houston in a three-game weekend series. LHP Hyun Jin Ryu (5-2, 2.62 ERA) starts Friday in the opener.
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